Goodbye job applications, hello dream career
Seize control of your career and design the future you deserve with LW career

Report: 54% of midsize firms say technology is crucial for client satisfaction

A new report has revealed the challenges and opportunities shaping the priorities of midsize law firms in 2024 – with 71 per cent primarily concerned with growing new revenue over the next year.

user iconLauren Croft 08 December 2023 Big Law
expand image

Actionstep has released its 2024 Australian Midsize Law Firm Priorities Report, uncovering a number of key trends shaping the midsize legal industry.

The report surveyed more than 200 law firm professionals from midsize firms across Australia to find out how their organisation is evolving and what they’re anticipating in the next year.

Key findings from the report show that the majority are focused on growing new revenue in 2024, with 52 per cent prioritising recruiting and retaining talent and 50 per cent planning to prioritise improving client satisfaction.


In terms of additional investment, 41 per cent of respondents said increased investment is needed within IT and technology, with 37 per cent asking for more professional development and training and 32 per cent stating that additional marketing and business development was needed in their firm.

Twenty-four per cent of employees working at midsize law firms think automation is the main way they can meet evolving client expectations – 61 per cent of law firm professionals said they foresee clients expecting changes in legal costs, and 42 per cent predicted clients would expect changes in response times and communication frequency. Despite this, only 15 per cent said their firms provided client service training to their teams.

Moreover, 54 per cent of law firm professionals at midsize firms agreed that technology supports them in providing excellent client services. However, 41 per cent said their firm needs to invest more heavily in technology.

“Law firms believe that client expectations in relation to digital and cyber security will increase in the next 12 months. However, despite this, many firms have haphazard approaches to storing their clients’ data. Eighteen per cent of law firm professionals have multiple software platforms with different data sets, 26 per cent use one software platform only, and 28 per cent use one main software platform with integrated tools,” the report stated.

“Worryingly, 29 per cent are unsure of how their firm stores its client data and information. This is a major cause for concern. Law firms must ensure they have a firm grasp over their client’s data and where it’s stored – especially as they believe clients will have greater expectations surrounding cyber and digital security in the next 12 months.”

In terms of how tech could assist day-to-day, however, only 1 per cent of respondents said it would reduce costs and overheads. Only 23 per cent agreed with the statement that legal technology removes the need for administrative or non-value-adding tasks or that it intuitively automates repetitive processes.

“Technology is crucial for midsize law firms – they are often expected to provide the same quality of legal service and advice as larger firms, with the more personal delivery and lower costs of smaller firms. The right tools, used well, can power effective lawyer-client communication, boost efficiency by automating administrative tasks, and provide a central portal to securely store confidential data. So, it’s no wonder it was one of our survey respondents’ top priorities,” the report stated.

“It’s not enough to simply introduce new technology. Firms must carefully select the right solution for their needs and implement it correctly if they want to ensure widespread adoption. We wanted to uncover whether this was the case among midsize Australian law firms.”

As such, the report urged midsize law firms to “carefully select” the technology they work with – as it has the potential to increase revenue, meet growing client expectations and create efficient workflows.

“With the right tools, law firm professionals will be able to streamline or automate entire workflows. They’ll be able to collaborate with each other and with clients, wherever and whenever. Most importantly, they’ll be in a position to work from a central portal, rather than having to constantly bounce from one system to the next,” according to the report.

“The result? More efficient, more effective employees – and happier clients. See the chart below for a visualisation of how midsize law firms can leverage technology to reduce stress, power connectivity, enhance the client experience, and grow revenue.”